Data From Recurrent Shows the Substantial Impact Winter Weather Has on EV Batteries

12/14/2021, 4:30 PM (Source: GlobeNewswire)

SEATTLE, Dec. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Recurrent, the car industry’s leading analyst of electric vehicle (EV) battery health, today released new winter range data on the impact that freezing weather has on the batteries of electric vehicles (EVs) across a variety of different makes and models. Recurrent regularly releases data highlighting buying and selling trends, the impact of certain variables on EV batteries and on the differences between the dozens of popular vehicle models that Recurrent monitors.

This is the first time that this data has been shared at scale from EVs on the road in real-world conditions. Recurrent’s community includes roughly 7,000 active EV drivers with over 20 million historical data points. This report finds that freezing temperatures have substantial temporary negative impacts on estimated range. Analysis also shows that EV range is more affected by cold weather than hot, but there is significant variability across the different auto manufacturers.

Chevy’s Bolt, which has been in the news for a recall, is quite sensitive to the cold. The estimated range is about a third less at freezing temperatures compared to 80 F. Tesla, on the other hand, designs its battery management systems to appear less sensitive to outdoor climate. The range estimate only changes by about 5% across the temperature spectrum.

“Winter weather is something that every EV driver needs to keep in mind,” said Scott Case, CEO and co-founder of Recurrent. “Losing 10% or 20% of available range on a cold day could mean extra charging stops and longer charge times. That is especially important around the holidays, when families are traveling farther and definitely need to get where they are going. No one wants to spend Christmas morning in line at a fast-charging station.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Winter range loss is not permanent, whereas long exposure to high temperatures can cause long-term battery degradation.
  • All 13 vehicle models compared in this study experienced range fluctuations at different outdoor temperatures.
  • The data further reveals the stark differences between manufacturers in short-term range fluctuations due to weather.
  • In a review of 1,200 Chevy Bolts, data shows that while range estimates decline in the heat, too, they are far more sensitive to cold – potentially up to one third of the estimated 250-mile range.
  • Tesla tightly controls the on-board range estimates that drivers see. The data says that there is almost no change in available range in the cold or the hot, despite the fact that all lithium-ion batteries see reduced effects in extreme temperatures.
  • The Jaguar I-PACE only loses about 10 miles of range in the cold weather – amounting to only around 5% of total range lost when temperatures are around freezing.
  • Each EV make and model also has different climate control systems and different ways to manage battery temperature — both of these configurations will affect how winter weather changes battery efficiency and range.

It is also important to note that temperature significantly affects internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. When a vehicle’s heater is turned on and cold weather causes friction in the transmission, fuel efficiency can drop by 15-25 percent. EV drivers simply must be more conscious of this as they experience their first winter with an electric car and navigate a growing charging infrastructure.

“It’s not going to make the evening news when a vehicle with a gasoline engine loses efficiency in the winter,” Case added. “But, I would guess that people are equally disappointed to stand outside at a gas pump in frigid temperatures as they would be at a charging station. As people learn more about their EV and the infrastructure legislation takes shape in the US, we'll hope to see a cure for seasonal range anxiety.”

This is the second study on the impact of weather on an EV battery. For more information on Recurrent, visit https://www.recurrentauto.com/.

About Recurrent
Recurrent was founded in 2020 with the goal to provide more transparency and confidence in pre-owned electric cars. Through its comprehensive battery reports for EV owners, buyers and sellers, it aims to accelerate the overall adoption of electric vehicles. To learn more about Recurrent, visit https://www.recurrentauto.com/.

Media Contact
Matt Greenfield
Uproar PR for Recurrent
mgreenfield@uproarpr.com


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